Ride The Lobster - Rules

Wondering what the rule is (should be) regarding riding the unicycle in the Ride the Lobster race. My view is that it should be OK to walk or run with your unicycle, except to cross the finish line, for any distance you want.

For example, if you are climbing a steep hill and you have an UPD, you should be permitted to walk the rest of the hill. (Recall that some of the contestants will be "fun’ types–perhaps even in costumes :slight_smile:

Also, I plan to DJ on my ride (that’s what I do). Any rule against having speakers (small ones) attached to my Uni?

Jimbo (aka DJ SpinCycle)

We were talking about a similar situation on the recent 24 hour endurance mountain bike race we entered. The general concensus was that the quickest way to complete the cource with a unicycle would be to buy a 12" one, lighten whatever you can, and strap it to your back and run the whole way. It goes completely against the spirit of the race, of course, but it’ll be quicker.

RTL would be a different matter though. The distances involved would mean you’d have to be a super human runner to even finish, let alone stand a chance of winning.


Running/walking during RTL will be allowed, but only for a small part of each day’s ride. We are still figuring out the maximum distance allowed for not riding, but each team will definitely be RIDING their unicycling most of each day. This IS a unicycle race, after all.

Modifications you make to your unicycle are your choice, so speakers are ok. Can I make music requests? :roll_eyes:
Of course, if you modify your unicycle to make it a b*ke, that will not be allowed. We will probably be using the IUF definition of a unicycle, but with the exception that geared unicycles (Schlumpf gears or other modifications) are also allowed.

Connie Cotter
RTL Race Referee

I don’t see running being much of a problem. As with a road bike race, I think there are very few situations where you can run faster than you can ride. And when it gets that steep, and it is less efficient to ride, then why would you want to be riding?

It may be slightly different for off-road races, where there are a lot more situations where it is more efficient/faster to be running. My feeling is that you should be allowed to run, just as mountainbikers are allowed to run during a mountainbike race. Top professionals do it, and it is a race after all.

But hey, I don’t make the rules. :stuck_out_tongue:

Connie- are ipods etc allowed? I think that would be dangerous if we are racing on open roads with motorvehicle traffic.

When I ride on roads with an MP3 player, I either keep the volume quite low, or I pull the traffic-side earbud out so that I can keep a closer eye on the road. Of course, this still assumes one can concentrate properly when listening to music…

For road racing I don’t think you even need to worry about it. As long as the “rider” brings the unicycle with him/her, it’s probably not an issue that needs addressing.

As for headphones, I’m not sure what laws are used in various places, but I’d suggest a one-ear only rule, as Mark described. Volume can’t be detected from a distance, but non-covered ears can.

I listen to my ipod when doing distance riding and can always hear the traffic around me. I obviously don’t have it that loud.

Don’t forget riders will have to be in contact with their support. Not too sure how that works if people are wired for sound though. My ipod automatically mutes when I’m receiving a call on the mobile so isn’t a problem, but it may be a problem for some.

If your music volume is at a level that enables you to hear the traffic and incoming calls on the mobile then I can’t see a problem listening to music while riding.


What if instead of distance, the walking distance was measured by time? Not everyone has a gps or computer to measure how long they have walked. But almost everyone owns a watch/stop watch. For the less serious people that want to walk more, use a form of penalty to increase their overall time for increase walk time. Time can also be used for taking breaks and calculating that in. Eat fast = more walk time.

I think ipods should be left to the individual’s discretion. If the rider/s haven’t been mowed down by a car by now, it means that person is probably cautious enough not to start dancing and daydreaming while riding. I have a habit of doing that, so I know better than to ride on the street without adult supervision.

Walking has a built in penalty, in that it’s slower than riding in almost all cases. There’s no need to mess around with limiting the amount of walking allowed or whatever.

iPods, I think I’m less worried about the safety aspect where cars are concerned, and more about the ability to communicate with riders around you. The big thing is that it’s important to know if you’re being overtaken, so that you don’t swerve into the overtaking rider. Also, if we’re riding in big groups at all and drafting, it’s really important that everyone is able to communicate.

I’ve definitely ridden with people who weren’t able to communicate because of iPods. One time a rider actually went off in completely the wrong direction because they had their iPod on and couldn’t hear us shouting.


Considering approx 125 miles is covered per day in under 12 hours that requires a minimum riding average of 10mph for the team just to be within the daily time limit. The thought of running with a 36" wheel more than absolutely necessary cannot be appealing to many people. In these situations it would make sense to swap riders to one who is stronger in these particular conditions, probably steep up/down or large headwind?

As Jimbo originally said he’d thought running would be useful if a UPD occurs near the crest of a steep hill, which would seem to be allowed.


Personally I think iPods should not be allowed. Generic MP3 players, on the other hand are a bloody good idea. But that might just be my anti-Mac attitude coming through :smiley:

Anyway, I almost always ride with music in my headphones. Well, headphone, as I only use one ear. With the right music playing it does get me more pumped up and energised, so is vastly beneficial to me. As far as I am aware, though, there’s never been a situation where it has distracted me from the riding itself, and I can hear what people around me are saying (although I’ll take the ear bud out to have a conversation).


There are a lot of questions about ipods (or similar). The easy answer is: we haven’t decided what will be allowed. I have added it to my list of questions that needs to be answered.

I know people have a lot of strong opinions and I’ve read many other posts on this forums for and against ipods. I know some riders use music to get into their optimal riding ‘zone’, and I definitely agree that if a rider is oblivious to their surroundings it is dangerous to everybody.

Back to the running/walking problem:
puresyn said:

If you are part of a team on RTL, you will have a gps provided by the organizers. That is how we are keeping track of everybody.

The situations described by others are all within the limits we would set. The teams that are doing this event for fun may end up walking more, but I think if a team ends up walking too much, they will run into the problem of not finishing within the time required for the day.

RTL Race Referee
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I think it’d be great if everyone who wanted to bring music, brought something (a phone, or iPod+speakers) with speakers.

That way, you don’t have the safety issues, plus everyone else gets to share in the joy of your music. It’d be cool to get to hear everyone elses go faster music!


About the walking: every unicyclist in the world, considering themself serious, are interested in going to this event. There will be a selection with criterias such as a minimum climb and a really long distance. If you meet those criterias it will not be nesesary to walk.

About the ipod: I rarely ride with music because I think it’s part of the experience to hear all those sounds around… In the spring the birds singing, when riding along with water the waves and on roads the cars and people around. That’s my experience.
When riding with others I deffenedly think you should not listen to music, as it after all takes away some concentration from conversation.

I think it should be up to each team to decide whether they should listen to music as it’s souly a matter of comfort and feeling safe but not the much something that matters in the competition

I still can’t see any serious team being able to gain any significant advantage from walking. As Joe said, it has a built in penalty already. I think you’d need to be going up a 20% gradient on a Coker to be able to run up faster than you can ride.

As for the ipod, I personally don’t ride with one because I feel it’s dangerous in traffic, and I’ve not been in any races where it has been allowed, but it’s really up to the organisers as to what safety requirements they have (eg helmets etc).


As has been said above, walking has its own built-in penalty. Plus there’s no way to monitor whether people are riding or walking so only self-enforcement would only be possible. As this is a race for a cash prize, I’d consider that kind of meaningless.

Yup, safety issues are at the discretion of the organizers. It doesn’t matter how many miles you’ve covered with music in both ears, it’s up to them to decide what they feel safe with for a racing situation. Aside from the laws of the land, the same applies to helmets or any other safety rules.

Will geared unicycles and non geared unicycles be in seperate classes?

Will there be a class for single riders, rather than a relay team?

Don’t worry about walking, I will have about 10 cameramen at the race, if we catch you walking, that’s your part in the movie :slight_smile:

Gatineau-Dave asked:


The short answer:

The longer answer:
There is just one class. Mixed gender, mixed ages, mixed unicycle types. It is up to each team and rider to find what suits them the best.
You must be part of a team of 3 unicyclists + 1 support. No solo riders.

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